Archive for January 24th, 2006

XXIst. Century CENSORSHIP by Teodoro Petkoff

January 24, 2006

     XXI st. CENTURY


XXIst. Century CENSORSHIP by
Teodoro Petkoff in Tal Cual

Today we woke up with a concrete
measure of censorship for the written press, radio and television.

A judge, at the request of the
Prosecutor, has forbidden the publication of any information about the Anderson trial and, on
top of that, any information about the “private life” of the ineffable “star
witness”, Geovanny Vasquez De Armas. At the same time it appointed CONATEL as
the executing arm of the censorship measure when it ordered the opening of
“administrative procedures” not only against the “radio electric” media (which
are the ones in its scope) but also against the written press (with which
Conatel has nothing to do with)

About the “star witness” the
judge prohibits the “publication, diffusion or exposing” of information that
“make reference to the named witness” in particular with information relating
to his “private life”. This really is the last straw. The information published
about Mr. Vasquez De Armas does not referee
to his “private life” but precisely they refer to his public life. According to
the information provided by official Colombian organizations this man is a
hoodlum. Although this part of his private life does not disqualify him as a
witness, because, in principle, crook and all he could be telling the truth,
however, the information published refers to the peculiar nature of his criminal
specialty: identity theft and the forgery of documents, which, could obviously
make his testimony questionable. When the media inform about this aspect of the
“public life” of the “star” they are doing nothing but fill in the omissions of
the Prosecutor’s Office, that was obligated to give the data about the
mentioned subject and, in particular, to let us know that not only he is not a
psychiatrist but that he has been detained a few time in Colombia for the
crimes mentioned. On top of that, as if this were not enough, last week
information was published, verifiable at that, which would demonstrate that the
“star witness” could not have participated in the meeting in Panama where supposedly the “intellectual
authors” would have planned the assassination of Anderson,
because on that same date he was in jail in Riohacha, Colombia.
Should a media source that has that information, of the highest interest for the
public, which ahs the right to be informed, abstain from publishing it because
it would be in the singular interpretation of the Prosecutor0s Office
“obstruction of justice”?

It seems to us that obstruction
of justice is precisely to use, what according to the data originating in Colombia, would
be nothing but lies of the “star” to obtain the judicial sentences that the
Prosecutor wants.

Isaias Rodriguez has, so far
gotten away with it. He has managed to “protect” with censorship the infinite
number of stupid missteps committed by the Prosecutor’s office, including his
won, in the investigation of Anderson’s
assassination. He has managed that the trial proceeds from now, in secret and
that the testimony of a compulsive liar may not be questioned.

But this goes beyond the Anderson case.

This must be confronted with full
decision because this vicissitude seems too much like a general trial for the
censorship on freedom of speech.